People who open their own restaurant typically posses a variety of highly efficacious traits. They are hard working, optimistic, creative, dedicated, highly motivated, and most of all passionate about what they do.
While many restaurant owners consistently display these characteristics, it’s no secret that many of them find themselves challenged with turning their life long dreams into a successful business.
One of the main causes of restaurant failure is that owners get inundated with the details of daily operations. In doing so, they lose sight of what they, as an owner, should be doing to turn their restaurant into a profitable business.
Many people who open a restaurant believe that managing or focusing on the operational functions is all that’s really needed from them to create a profitable foodservice business.
Let’s take the talented chef who has worked for many years developing his/her skills and concept as an example. They are confident because they have been successful “running a restaurant” and by default, know how to build a successful restaurant business. There is a lot of truth in the statement, “opening and running a restaurant is the easy part, the real challenge is making money at it.”
Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s believed that people need to work ‘on’ their business not ‘in’ their business. When Kroc purchased the McDonald’s franchise in the mid-1950’s, he didn’t roll up his sleeves and run the business, he began the process of analyzing every operational function of that restaurant from purchasing to prep to cooking to cleaning and so on. Without changing the concept, he made refinements and developed comprehensive systems for running a hamburger stand.
Having well-developed systems were the key to creating a successful business. Kroc believed that is was the only way to get extraordinary results out of ordinary people. The goal would be to utilize everyday people to produce excellent results by having well defined systems. This in turn creates consistency and predictability, the two most important elements of any business, with a good system.
As a restaurant owner, it is no secret that many of them never stop working “in” their restaurant. They continue to be intimately be involved in every aspect of the day-to-day operation to the point that they can not also function as an owner. Although this sometimes may be necessary through startup and for short periods of time, in the long run, the business and owner suffers.